search SEARCH
Apply Now

100% Online

apply Apply Now icon

Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching

Upskill your current industry experience or launch into one of the most rewarding careers as an Early Childhood Teacher.

To apply applicants must have completed the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. This course is not available to international students.

apply Apply Now icon
Icon Qualification



Icon Duration

12 months full-time


Icon Start Dates

Feb, Apr, Jul, Oct

Start Date

Icon Units



Icon Learning Mode

100% Online

Learning Mode

Icon Fees


Fees tooltip

apply Apply Now icon
Marissa-BW-NoLogo (1)

‘I truly believe the more people who complete this course, then the more qualified workers there will be to help close the skills gap. It’s a game changer to complete a graduate diploma in 12 months while completing majority of your practicum in your own workplace. And it’s hyper tailored to early childhood, so all the learning is incredibly relevant.’

Marissa, Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching alumni

17.2% ▴

As a Kindergarten Teacher, you’ll have a strong future ahead of you, with a 17.2% increase expected in the next five years.


Our education courses have been awarded a five-star rating for overall experience, skills development, student support and teaching quality.

‘I truly believe the more people who complete this course, then the more qualified workers there will be to help close the skills gap. It’s a game changer to complete a graduate diploma in 12 months while completing majority of your practicum in your own workplace. And it’s hyper tailored to early childhood, so all the learning is incredibly relevant.’

Marissa, Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching alumni

17.2% ▴

As a Kindergarten Teacher, you’ll have a strong future ahead of you, with a 17.2% increase expected in the next five years.

Our education courses have been awarded a five-star rating for overall experience, skills development, student support and teaching quality.


The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching is a one-year postgraduate qualification which will provide you the pathway to become a qualified teacher with an expert understanding in educational theory and pedagogical practices to make a difference to children’s lives and your early childhood employer services.

The demand for early childhood teachers and job roles are predicted to rise strongly from 47,900 to 56,200 by 2025. With strong employability prospects and a growing demand for early childhood teachers, there has never been a better time to elevate or discover your passion in childhood education.

This innovative and accelerated early childhood teacher qualification helps overcome the typical barriers to undertaking an early childhood teaching qualification through a workplace-based internship model with alternative setting experience. For every unit you undertake, you will arrange a classroom placement, and have real-world opportunities to teach literacy, numeracy, creative arts and sciences while addressing the specific learning needs of children within early childhood services.

The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching is professionally accredited with ACECQA and Graduates are eligible to apply for registration as an early childhood teacher with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). Please check with your state’s early childhood teacher registration body for reciprocal arrangements which exist in other states/territories.

This is not offered to students residing in South Australia (SA) due to AITSL accreditation requirements.

Please note, you must be a citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to study this course.

What will you learn?

  • Learning environment management techniques: Learn practical, age-appropriate techniques that help nurture a positive and dynamic learning environment for babies and young learners aged 0–5 years.
  • Practical skills for early childhood teaching: Apply early-childhood specific learning techniques in group learning contexts, preparing dynamic lesson plans that harness the education potential of play and creativity.
  • Curriculum planning: Create learning activities to engage students and develop their skills.
  • Child behaviour: Understand why children display different behaviours and learn how to best approach them.
  • Health and activity: Explore a range of issues surrounding children’s health, nutrition and safety.
  • Twenty-first century teaching: Embrace the role of being a teacher in an era of rapid change.

Transform your future: Download the Early Childhood Education course guide

Flexible study

What does flexible study mean for me?

Studying at Swinburne Online gives you the freedom to study how it suits you. Decide when and where it fits in with your life and tailor your study journey to your own needs. Get a world-class degree without giving up what’s important.

Flexible study at Swinburne Online

Start when it suits. Swinburne Online offers multiple intake dates and flexible unit availability, so you can choose when you begin your studies or if you need to take a break.

Flexible study requires flexible support. As a Swinburne Online student, you’ll have support for extended hours, seven days a week, with Student Advisors available to help with anything from tech support to research advice and dedicated online tutors in each of your units.


Your course structure

The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching consists of four double credit point units and runs over one year.

Your units will arm you with knowledge in a range of areas, such as effective curriculum planning, child development, contemporary teaching practices, play based learning, sustainability and wellbeing practices in early childhood teaching environments.

You will also put theory into practice with professional experience embedded within each unit of study via a workplace-based internship model. Already working as an educator? You may elect to complete your first placement at your current workplace.

Why study a degree in education with Swinburne Online? Our courses are at the forefront of industry and provide you with the practical skills to success come graduation. View all units in this graduate diploma.

View All Units

How you'll learn

Learning designed for online

Your study journey with Swinburne Online is tailored to the digital space. You’ll study in a dynamic virtual classroom environment, interact with your peers in the custom-built social platform, and receive support at the times you need it from advisors who understand studying online.

Your online study journey

You’ll complete each of your units in Canvas, your online classroom, and guided through coursework by an online tutor with real-world experience in your field of study. Canvas is where you’ll access classes, assignments and discussion boards with your peers.

The Student Hub is your online campus, where you’ll access the support and resources to assist you throughout your study journey. From managing your course to technical support and library resources, you’ll find it all in one easy location.

Swinburne Online will be there for you each step of the way. From enrolment through to graduation, we offer extended, flexible support in each of your units and advisors to assist with anything from technical support to referencing and assignment tips.

Entry requirements

Students must have successfully completed an Australian Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (or recognised ungraded equivalent), and a minimum of five years relevant work experience (undertaken within the last seven years) in an early childhood education setting with related leadership responsibilities.

All enrolled students must maintain a current Working with Children Check from the appropriate State Authority.

A Police Check may also be required by a school prior to a placement.

English Language Literacy

Evidence of English language proficiency is not required if the applicant has completed a bachelor degree in English in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada or the Republic of Ireland.

For bachelor degrees completed in other countries, the following criteria applies:

IELTS (Academic Module): Overall 6.5 with no individual band below 6.0

Swinburne English Language Centre: EAP 5 Advanced level with overall 70% and all skills 65% or above

Or equivalent measures available at the Swinburne English Language Requirements page.


The estimated annual fee for this course is $24,700*. This is based on completing eight 12.5 credit point units in one calendar year.

Commonwealth provided loans are available to assist eligible students to pay their course fees and there are a range of university, government and privately funded scholarships and prizes.

Discover more information about HELP loans.

Course fees may change without notice and will be affected by a student’s unit selection and any credit awarded in recognition of previous academic experience.

Early Childhood Teaching Scholarships Program

Scholarships are available in a bid to increase the number of qualified early childhood teachers in the early childhood education sector in NSW. More information can be found here.

This course is not available to international students. 

Domestic students also contribute to student services and amenities via an annual fee.

The Fraser Foundation offers scholarships to help all students achieve their full potential in the field of Early Childhood Education. They are awarded to people from all backgrounds and study areas and are not just for high academic achievers.

In order to be eligible for a scholarship with The Fraser Foundation you must (include but not limited to):

  • have a passion for and commitment to education and early childhood learning
  • have enrolled or intend to enrol as a full-time or part-time student in an approved Australian course of early childhood education
  • commitment to completing your chosen course/degree
  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
  • can show/prove a genuine need for support or assistance (for example financial hardship, vulnerability, ATSI or rural or remote location etc)
  • be 17 years of age or older.

Find out more and apply by visiting the Fraser Foundation Scholarship website.

The Victorian Government is now offering scholarships to encourage early childhood teachers throughout the state through the Early Childhood Scholarship Program. Students applying for an approved qualification may be eligible to receive up to $12,000 towards an early childhood graduate diploma. Find out more through the Early Childhood Scholarships Program Guidelines, and apply by visiting the Victorian Government website.

Career Outcomes

Advance your career in early childhood education

Our education graduates all undertake professional experience via a workplace-based internship model specifically designed to educate children up to five years of age. Every unit you undertake will have a practical placement component, and if you are already working as an educator, you may choose to complete your first placement at your current workplace.

As an existing early childhood educator, this course will help you move into a teaching role or a more senior role, which could see you developing curriculum, policies and procedures.

Teach the basics of numeracy, literacy, music, and art to early childhood students.

Guide young children in the acquisition of fundamental literacy and numeracy skills, effectively preparing them for a successful transition to primary school.

Develop the curriculum, set policies and oversee daily operations of an early childhood centre.


Swinburne’s Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching is accredited by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). The ACECQA works with all governments to provide guidance, resources and services to support the sector to improve outcomes for children.


‘The Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching will not only support educators in completing their qualifications but also get formal recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Early Childhood sector. This course has been developed in conjunction with Early Childhood leaders and feedback from the early childhood sector. Swinburne Online is at the forefront of change in building the workforce capacity in the Early Childhood Sector.’


Training Operations Manager with College for Australian Early Childhood Educators

What are other students asking?
For students undertaking a degree, most of your learning materials are included with a free license provided to you by Swinburne Online. However, in some cases, you will be notified via your student email that you will need to buy specific software or eTexts. For TAFE Business students, all of your learning materials will be available online and are covered by your course fees. You won’t need to purchase any further materials.
When you enrol to study a degree with us, you will nominate how many units you would like to select per teaching period, based on a recommendation from one of our Course Consultants. From here, our enrolments team will allocate you automatically to the units they feel will be best suited to your needs, so you don’t need to worry about choosing units. If you want to choose something different than what you are allocated to, that is no problem, just get in touch with our Student Advisors and they will take care of it for you.
You won’t normally have to be online at a specific time. Your course material is available for you from the beginning of each teaching period and you can work through it in the hours that suit you. There are some live webinar sessions that run approximately once a month. These are a special opportunity for students to sign in at the same time as their tutors, normally before an assessment deadline. It gives you the chance to ask any questions relating to the assignment in real time and hear other student’s questions and thoughts. We understand that students won’t always be able to make these sessions, so they can be replayed the next day.

Get in Touch

* These fields must be completed